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Old 01-20-2013, 05:04 PM   #1
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Is it paint or gelcoat?

I need to touchup my nonskid but the problem is I can't tell if the previous repaint work that was done is gelcoat or paint. How can you tell?
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:50 PM   #2
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If you can get a small chip loose, drop it in a small container of acetone. If it dissolves in a few seconds and goes soft, it's likely just paint.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:56 PM   #3
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I need to touchup my nonskid but the problem is I can't tell if the previous repaint work that was done is gelcoat or paint. How can you tell?
If the previous work was repainted then I would say ... paint? Sorry Daddyo, I couldn't resist. Nigel, our glass/painter guy should be here in the am and I'll ask him.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:08 PM   #4
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If the previous work was repainted then I would say ... paint? Sorry Daddyo, I couldn't resist. Nigel, our glass/painter guy should be here in the am and I'll ask him.
could have been repainted with gelcoat
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:16 PM   #5
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If you can get a small chip loose, drop it in a small container of acetone. If it dissolves in a few seconds and goes soft, it's likely just paint.
Be very careful with the acetone. Awlgrip's Aircraft 2000 is one of several marine paints that are a 2 part acrylic that are soluble in acetone. Awlgrip Top Coat says you can use acetone for cleaning? You can thin gel-coat with acetone? Who can figure?
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:10 PM   #6
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could have been repainted with gelcoat
Yes, but if your boat has always been in the US, other than some small local/area repairs, I would bet that it's paint. Spraying gel-coat is labor intensive so the $$' add up fast. How labor intensive, we just finished re-gel-coating everything above the cap rail with the exception of the non-skid and a blue stripe. Nigel sprayed on 5 coats of gel-coat after prep, then his crew started wet sanding by hand with 320, 400, 800, 1200, 1500 plus buffing and waxing. Two guys plus over a couple of months. It doesn't go fast but the results for us are worth it.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:36 PM   #7
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Yes, but if your boat has always been in the US, other than some small local/area repairs, I would bet that it's paint. Spraying gel-coat is labor intensive so the $$' add up fast. How labor intensive, we just finished re-gel-coating everything above the cap rail with the exception of the non-skid and a blue stripe. Nigel sprayed on 5 coats of gel-coat after prep, then his crew started wet sanding by hand with 320, 400, 800, 1200, 1500 plus buffing and waxing. Two guys plus over a couple of months. It doesn't go fast but the results for us are worth it.

I have what sounds like a similar problem with the white top layer eroding away on foredeck non-skid areas only. A light blue underlayment is showing through. Our boat has the diamond tread pattern on non-skid areas...which wouldn't be sanded, buffed or waxed in any case. I spoke with an Awlgrip tech rep who thought that gelcoat might be a better solution in this sort of application, as their paints would build up quickly and tend to pool in low spots, thereby ruining the diamond surface. I still don't know which material is actually on the non-skid on our boat, but suspect it's gel coat.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:59 AM   #8
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I need to touchup my nonskid but the problem is I can't tell if the previous repaint work that was done is gelcoat or paint. How can you tell?
Daddyo: I asked Nigel. He said to sand a small area and smell it. Polyester has a distinct smell over polyurethane.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:06 AM   #9
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Thanks, I'll give it a try.
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